Payroll boss handed 11-year ban for tax avoidance scheme

11 June 2021

Scott Rooney, from Leicester, has been banned from acting as a company director for a period of 11 years due to the role that he played in a multi-million-pound tax avoidance scheme.

In February 2017, Mr. Rooney was made sole director of the payroll services company, Magentic Push Limited, which went into liquidation after operating for just 11 months. It was previously known as The Knowledgeshares Limited and was also called My PSU Subcontractors Limited.

Following Magentic Push Limited’s liquidation, it was voluntarily wound up. The Insolvency Service was notified by the liquidator that Mr. Rooney did not co-operate and did not provide the company’s book and records. This fact, combined with additional information submitted by the tax authorities which indicated that the company was part of a tax avoidance scheme led to an investigation being opened by the Insolvency Service.

It was established that Magentic Push was acting as an umbrella company as part of a larger tax avoidance scheme. Mr. Rooney had only declared a VAT liability of £609 but in the liquidation, the tax authorities claimed over £4 million from Magnetic Push. Additionally, PAYE and National Insurance (NI) contributions were not declared correctly by the company.

Investigators were not able to locate genuine company expenses equating to £37 million that had been paid out from the company’s account between the periods of February and December 2017 due to the distinct lack of relevant records. They were also unable to determine the fundamental reasons for the company’s failure.

Scott Rooney appeared at the High Court on 1 March 2021 in front of Judge Jones, at which point he was disqualified as a company director for 11 years. Judge Jones felt the length of time the ban was imposed for was appropriate to the severity of Mr. Rooney’s lack of co-operation and his failure to keep the correct records. The ban commenced on 22 March 2021.


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